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CIS-A2K//Work plan July 2014 - June 2015/Nurturing Mediawiki and Tech Talent in Indic Communities

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CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society - Access to Knowledge) is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape.
If you have a general proposal/suggestion for Access to Knowledge team you can write on the discussion page. If you have appreciations or feedback on our work, please share it on feedback page.

After a close engagement with the Wikimedia movement in India during the last two years CIS-A2K has realized that there is an urgent need to build and nurture Mediawiki and technical talent hidden within each of the language communities. It was noticed that many language communities need support on bugs, which are not priority at a global scale but are a key problem for that particular language community. It is difficult to expect neither the global Media Wiki volunteer community nor the WMF Engineering team to give quality time to understand the needs or bugs.[1] It should also be noted that having access to an expert Media Wiki volunteer or WMF Engineering team is seen as a prized possession by some of the community members, so that they can try to get quicker responses/solutions to the problems at hand.

CIS-A2K sees an opportunity of making these small Indian language communities relatively more self-reliant in addressing minor technical issues through nurturing and building community level technical leadership. This could go a long way in reducing excessive dependency on the Engineering resources and will help the Indic communities in building strong technical liaison with the Media Wiki global community and the WMF Engineer team.

About the project[edit]

There are two components to this project. One CIS-A2K will hold a 4-5 day program to bring together identified Wikimedians from across all Indic communities. Selected technically enthusiastic wikimedians would be trained on working with various Technical tools and bug fixing procedure for Mediawiki related bugs. Also a peer learning networked space will be created among these, which could grow beyond the CIS-A2K efforts. The program will be a mix of training workshop and hackathon space. Mediawiki and Open Source expert resource persons will be invited to take specific sessions during the first half of the day, whereas in the second half the Wikimedians will work in teams to resolve particular issues/bugs or engage in peer-to-peer learning activities.
The other is to support community participation in Free Software events, hackathons and Localization sprints that are held in India. CIS-A2K will consider giving travel and stay scholarships for select Wikimedians from across India, who are interested to participate in such events and benefit from it.

Implementation plan[edit]


Our aim is to train a group of Indic Wikimedians about Mediawiki tools, bug fixing environment, fixing minor bugs, automating tasks etc.

Project execution
  1. Identify technically savvy (tech-savvy) people from all the Indic Wikimedia communities,
  2. Create a needs assessment framework to capture the technical requirements from each of the Indic Wikimedia projects as a precursor to the program.
  3. Create an expectation list from the potential participants for the program.
  4. Prepare a curriculum to be circulated in advance to all the participants.
  5. A pre-course assignment would be sent out to participants and potential participants would be selected for the residential program.
  6. Create a peer-level interaction among the group before they arrive for the program. E.g mailing list, FB group, IRC session, etc.
  7. Prepare Mediawiki tutorials and training guidelines.
  8. Identify Resource Persons for the program.
  9. Design the 5 day training program in consultation with the Resource Persons and the participants.
  10. Execution of the program.
  11. Fixing of certain number of bugs during the course of the program.
  12. Participant and Resource Person feedback on the program.
  13. Follow-up activities or events.
Possible curriculum
  • Mediawiki gadgets, tools, scripts.
  • Mediawiki installation
  • Mediawiki, Special, Wikipedia pages
  • Bug filing, monitoring, fixing
  • Scripting and usage of pywikipediabot
  • Unicode conversion from old non-Unicode proprietary encoding schemes of various Indian language packages
  1. Capacity building of about 20-25 committed Wikimedians from across all major Indic Wikimedias.
  2. Strengthening the support structure for all major Indic Wikimedia communities.
  3. At least one bug per language community to be fixed during the program.
  4. At least one essential extension to be rolled out per language community.
  5. Exhaustive list of bug compilation across all Indic Wikimedia projects.
  6. Creation of user guides on typical bugs/extensions/tools.


Expenditure Item FDC Support (INR) FDC Support (US$) Other Sources and in kind Support (INR) Other Sources and in kind Support (US$)
1 PD x 5% [lower-alpha 1] 72,000/- 1,165.02 40,800 660.18
1 PO x 15% [lower-alpha 2] 105,840/- 1,712.58 - -
Travel and Stay [lower-alpha 3] 25,000/- 404.52 - -
Volunteer Support (Travel and Stay) [lower-alpha 4] 600,000/- 9,708.49 - -
Resource Person [lower-alpha 5] 100,000/- 1,618.08 - -
Events/Meet-ups/Workshops 100,000/- 1,618.08 - -
Consumables/Printing/Stationery/Swag 20,000/- 323.62 - -
Miscellaneous 20,000/- 323.62 - -
Total 1,042,840/- 16,874.00 40,800 660.18



  1. One of the bugs which is very serious for Indian languages which contain only ligatures as alphabet, yet not so important bug to be fixed for Latin & other languages with less ligatures.


  1. 5% time of Program Director, CIS-A2
  2. 15% time of Program Officer who will anchor this program at CIS-A2K
  3. Expenses incurred towards CIS-A2K team travel & stay
  4. Expenses incurred towards Volunteers' travel & stay
  5. Expenses incurred towards Resource Persons' travel & stay